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12 Days of Christmas
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Trip Alarm Trip Alarm 12

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Pyrotechnic Projects: Fire Balls

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#1 Naphthalene Fire Ball

Naphthalene (formula C10H8) is a white volatile solid available in the form of mothballs. Be careful when purchasing the mothballs as most mothballs nowadays are made of Paradichlorobenzene, which will not work. Check the package; it will say either "Guarantee: 99% Paradichlorobenzene," or "Guarantee: 99% Naphthalene." Buy the "99% Naphthalene" type.

Black Powder or Pyrodex

NOTE: (Smokeless Powder will NOT work for this). Black Powder works a bit better than Pyrodex, but Pyrodex still produces satisfactory results.

Materials:Large Parallel wound paper tube

1/8 Visco Fuse

1/8 drill or nail

Mortar and pestle or coffee grinder

End plug material (epoxy/sawdust, clay, wood, hot glue etc)

PROCEDURE:

Take a Large parallel wound paper tube (the exact dimensions are not important, big tube=big fireball, experiment!) and plug one end with an epoxy/sawdust, clay, wood, hot glue etc. end plug and allow to cure completely.

Drill a 1/8 hole just above the end plug and insert a length of Visco fuse, glue if necessary.

Fill 1/4th of the tube with Black Powder or Pyrodex, making sure it does not get packed or tamped.

Pulverize the Naphthalene with a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder until it is a powder. Mix 30% by weight of BP/Pyrodex with 70% by weight of powdered Naphthalene and fill about 1/8th of the tube with this mixture.

Fill the remaining 5/8ths of the cardboard tube with powdered Naphthalene.

Bury in the ground until only 1" of the tube is sticking out. You're done! (If any of this has confused you, see the diagram) Light fuse and RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!

#2 Cremora Fire Ball

MATERIALS

Non-Dairy Creamer (powdered) Cremora is a popular brand. Black Powder or Pyrodex NOTE: (Smokeless Powder will NOT work for this). Black Powder works a bit better than Pyrodex, but Pyrodex still produces satisfactory results. Parallel wound paper tube1/8 Visco Fuse 1/8 drill or nail End plug material (epoxy/sawdust, clay, wood, hot glue etc)

PROCEDURE

1. Take a parallel wound paper tube (the exact dimensions are not important, big tube=big fireball, experiment!) and plug one end with an epoxy/sawdust, clay, wood, hot glue etc. endplug and allow to cure completely.

2. Drill a 1/8 hole just above the endplug and insert a length of Visco fuse, glue if necessary.

3. Pour in 10 grams of Black Powder or Pyrodex, making sure it does not get packed or tamped. Use more for larger tubes.

4.Fill the rest of the tube with Non-Dairy Creamer

5. You're done!Bury in the ground until only 1" of the tube is sticking out. Light fuse and get away!